DMK President MK Stalin on Tuesday urged the Tamil Nadu's AIADMK government to take a policy decision not to allow hydro-carbon exploration in the state. Speaking in the assembly during Zero Hour, he, citing the assurance of state Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam that sanction will not be given for hydrocarbon projects, said the government should take a policy decision as the house is in session now.
Stalin, who is the Leader of the Opposition, said that a tense situation prevails in the delta region owing to the hydrocarbon projects. He also cited Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's reply to parliamentary question that agreements have been signed with two parties for hydrocarbon projects in Tamil Nadu and a total of seven projects have been allocated for the state.
Responding to this, Shanmugam said the state government will not permit projects that would affect farmers. He maintained that since legal provisions were available in the form of a sub-clause that the State governmentâ€™s approval is necessary for the implementation of the project, a policy decision was not necessary.
DMK has recorded its strong opposition to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)'s move to set up 104 hydrocarbon wells in Tamil Nadu in the past too. In a statement issued on June 27, the DMK condemned the move and said that the farmers in Tamil Nadu are worried that the BJP government has decided to destroy agriculture in the region. If ONGC is granted permission by the government of India, these wells will be over and above the permission granted for 341 hydrocarbon wells.
The simmering issue of allowing agencies to dig up Cauvery delta districts for hydrocarbon exploration once again came to the forefront following ONGC's June 18 letter to the Ministry of Environment. "Government of India plans to reduce the import dependence on crude oil up to 10% by 2022. In order to achieve these targets ONGC has to drill and complete more development wells," the letter stated.
(With inputs from IANS)